Saving the Blue Butterfly

gabby_wild_july_07DALLAS, Jul 2, 2012/ — It’s scientific name is “Morpho Menelaus”, but it’s better known as the Menelaus Blue Morpho. To many, it just the Blue Butterfly; to Gabby Wild, it’s an endangered species.

With a wing span of 5-8 inches, the Menelaus Blue Morpho is one of the largest butterflies in the world. Native to the tropical rainforests in Latin America from Mexico to Colombia, it dwells mostly on the forest floor and shrubs/trees of the rainforest.

Morpho butterflies feed on the juices of fermenting fruit with which they may also be lured. The inebriated butterflies wobble in flight and are easy to catch. Morphos will also feed on the bodily fluids of dead animals and on fungi. Therefore, Morpho butterflies may be important in dispersing fungal spores.

With deforestation of tropical forests and habitat fragmentation, the Morpho butterflies are at risk of extinction. And to save it, a concentrated effort of conservation of the rainforest is advocated.

In Gabby Wild’s “12 in 12 for 12” campaign to save endangered species, the Morpho butterfly is Miss July. And to put focus to it, fashion design student at Cornell University Amelia Brown created a blue and deep brown (almost black) mini dress mimicking the color of the Blue morpho.

“The lines of the majestic morpho inspired this long dress,” commented Amelia. “In its portrayal of a single torn iridescent aqua wing, the outfit represents the butterfly’s suffering due to the deforestation of its home in tropical forests,” she added.

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Fashion Photos by Edward Colelli
Blue Morpho photo from the Wikimedia Commons